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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Setting realistic goals and winning the battle

I think it is safe to say that as the big red ball dropped at the stroke of midnight in Times Square, most of us had one common resolution...to lose weight. Very few of us as we have gotten older are in the shape we were 10, 15, 20 or 30 years ago. I am no different.
I think it is also pretty safe to say that when April 1st comes along, the joke is going to be on us fools and likely most of us will not have lost any significant amount of weight. By the time the Cowboys kick off the ball to the Redskins, the day before Black Friday, most of us will also be thinking about that next New Years resolution we will make about losing weight. The one we likely will never keep. Why is that?
Here is my theory: We aim too high and make it easy to think we are failing. I think I fall into that category.
Do I want to lose about 30 to 40 pounds this year? Yes. Is that doable? Yes. Will I get there? I don't know. But I do know that I have a better shot this year. Why is that?
I have taken a different approach this year. One I think is more manageable and realistic. Here goes.
One calender year has 12 months. I want to lose between 30 and 40 pounds. So I settled on 36. Why? Because 36 divided by 12 is 3. That means I only need to lose 3 pounds a month. That also means I have to lose less than 1 pound a week. Of course I am realistic enough to know I will gain a pound or two some weeks. I am not fooling myself there. But there will also be weeks where I lose 3 or 4. So I don't focus on that. Shit happens. You go out for dinner, or you go to a family function. They have a nice big free buffet chock full of desserts and what not, and boom you get on the scale the next morning and you have gained 3 or 4 pounds.
But here is the thing. You can get most of that right back off. So, the process for me is simple. I know the weight I started at on January 1st. My goal for February 1st is 3 pounds less than that. Nothing else will be acceptable. If I lose more than 3, then I reset from that number. But each month I must be 3 pounds less than the previous months starting point when the month flips over.
I think that is a very reasonable way to conquer a daunting task, which losing 40 pounds sounds like. 
Will I get there? I am certain I will. If I have in my mind all month that I have to make sure I make my 3 pound quota, then I am always focused on a task I can achieve.
And I hate to lose, even a bet with myself. So, I am not losing this bet, I am losing the weight. Simple as that.    

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